Mid Semester Self Evaluation

Introduction to Global Literature provides very intriguing and challenging texts that have pushed me to look deeper into my reading.  Before taking this class I knew little to almost nothing about post colonial nations or what that term actually meant.  I had no idea that there was such a thing as postcolonial literature.  This is all very new to me.  I do find some of the texts to be quite difficult to understand, but at the same time I enjoy reading novels with deeper meaning.  I have read all of the novels thoroughly.  I try to highlight information that puts an emphasis on what the novel is critiquing.  Other than highlighting, reading and putting a few notes in the margins I don’t think that I have any other strategies for approaching the texts.  As for class participation, I tend to stay quiet during class discussions.  I spend the time listening to others thoughts and opinions.  I seem to participate more when we are in smaller groups.  I find the reading load to be quite heavy which prevents me from being able to really analyze the novels we read.  I find myself speed reading and missing a lot of detail, so once we are in class I sit back and try to better understand by listening.  I have learned a great deal in this class regardless of my lack of participation.

Of all that we have read thus far in the semester, I have enjoyed reading Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih the most.  It was an easy read with more challenging underlying themes. I found the theme of the orient in relation to the occident to be quite interesting.  I am fascinated by other cultures and their customs and would even say that I myself have “wanderlust” which is quite possibly why I enjoyed this read.  Waiting for the Barbarians by Coetzee was my second favorite.  I had a lot of trouble understanding what was going on and it took a class discussion for me to figure things out, but once the themes were clearer to me, I was able to give the novel much deeper thought.  I absolutely dreaded reading Petals of Blood by Ngugi.  I probably could have enjoyed this one better had I not been so pressed for time.  I was reading a lot of different novels at that time, and for some reason this one just didn’t stand out to me.  The African names were confusing and I kept mixing characters up.  What really threw me for a loop was Fanon’s text.  Considering that was the first thing we read this semester, this class was a bit intimidating to me from the very beginning.  I was so completely lost while reading Fanon and on top of that, the discussion of Fanon did not help me much either.  I was unable to understand Fanon until after we read other texts to compare it to.

I have noticed things that we learn in this class being mentioned in other classes that I am in.  Nothing in full detail relates to my other classes but there was mention of Salih in my Trauma and Mourning in U.S. Lit class.  We have also touched upon the idea of a postcolonial country.  I think I’ll be able to relate Fanon to a lot of different texts once this class is over.  My goal is to better plan my reading so that I can get ahead.  I think this will be beneficial to my class participation.  Now that I am getting a better feel for this sort of material, I would like to make a stronger effort in speaking up during class discussion.

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